Philip Beale is a former sailor in Her Majesty’s Navy. Hailing from the U.K., Philip always had the desire to re-create the voyages of ancient sailorsm but didn’t know he was creating Lehi’s voyage. He has sailed ancient Indonesian ships, and when he discovered the ancient Greek historian Herodotus claimed Phoenicians sailed around the African continent, he was bound to re-create the voyage. After finding ruins of an ancient Phoenician ship dating from 600 BC in France, Philip built a replica of the ship with the intent to sail around Africa. When he decided to leave in 2009, he had to dodge Somali pirates who were active off the western coast of Africa.
After he passed Cape Town, South Africa, the winds blew him almost to Florida. He had unintentionally followed what Heartlanders believe is Lehi’s journey to America. Lehi repeated the journey through the Mediterranean Sea, to see if he would indeed make it to America. He intentionally was trying to follow Columbus journey, but this time he unintentionally followed Mulek’s possible journey to America. It wasn’t until after the two journeys were over that LDS members informed Philip what he had done matched possible Book of Mormon journeys. Philip is surprisingly open to the idea that ancient Jews could have traveled to America. Check out our conversation…
Transcript to follow. We’ll cover these topics.
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Philip’s Navy Background
GT 01:07 Welcome to Gospel Tangents. I’m excited to have a modern Christopher Columbus (chuckling) on the show. Could you tell us your name and where you’re from?
Philip 01:21 Hi. My name is Philip Beale. I’m captain of the Phoenician ship or I was the captain of the Phoenician ship. And I’m from the United Kingdom.
GT 01:29 All right, right outside London?
Philip 01:32 Yeah, I live down on the south coast in Dorset, near Lulworth Cove and port.
GT 01:38 Okay. I’ve been there one time. We went to Wimbledon and Guernsey Island, I remember. So that’s really cool. So, you have a background in the Royal Navy. Is that right? Can you tell us more about that?
Philip 01:55 Yeah. Well, as a school kid, I was interested in sailing and the history of the Age of Discovery and sailing ships, and there was a strong appeal of joining the Navy as a seamanship officer. So, I went through the Dartmouth, or Britannia Royal Naval College as a junior officer. And then I served on a couple of ships in, at the time, Her Majesty’s Navy. But then I saw that the expeditions and voyages I wanted to do, which was in the mold of Kon-Tiki, that Thor Heyerdahl did, that I needed to leave the Navy and pursue a career that enabled me to undertake these historic voyages.
GT 02:50 Okay. How long were you in the—do we call it the Royal Navy?
Philip 02:55 Yeah, in the Royal Navy. I was only there for three years.
GT 02:57 Oh, okay. It wasn’t…
Philip 02:58 I’m not a long-serving the officer of the Royal Navy.
GT 03:02 You weren’t, like, a submarine commander or anything like that.
Philip 03:04 I can’t claim that I was a submarine commander. I was on a couple of ships, a destroyer and a fishery protection vessel. But then, as I say, I realized, well, I asked my superiors, “When can I do my own expeditions?”
Philip 03:23 And they said, “Well, if you’re lucky, in 10 years’ time.” But I decided that there was another way to do it. So, we left on friendly terms. They were very good to me. But I wanted to do these Kon-Tiki style voyages that show how one culture influenced another through transoceanic voyages. So, that has been my ambition all along. And I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to realize the dream, as it were.
GT 03:54 Okay. I’m glad you mentioned Kon-Tiki, because I definitely wanted to talk about that. You didn’t ever serve in the Falkland Islands War or anything like that?
Philip 04:05 No, I didn’t. Interestingly, I did my Admiralty interview board, at least the first one, just as the fleet was sailing to the Falkland Islands.
GT 04:18 You just missed it.
Philip 04:20 Yeah.
GT 04:21 Okay. Can you describe your role? You weren’t like a captain on the ship or anything. You were a seaman. How does that work?
Philip 04:31 So, in the Navy, there are really four specializations. There’s the executive branch, which is the seamanship branch, which controls the ship. The captain will always be a seamanship officer, of which I was in the seamanship specialization, which is navigation, management, tactical issues. But then there are marine engineers, weapon engineers. And then there’s what we call supply and secretariat, which is all the logistics and the like. So, these four branches, I was in the seamanship side, which is, as I say, really, you’re either like officer of the watch or you’re doing the navigation officer, at a junior level. Ultimately, you rise to take command of the ship, but I never got that far.
Inspired by Thor Heyerdahl
GT 05:29 You never got that far. Okay. All right. Well, very cool. So, was Thor Heyerdahl really a motivator for you, then?
Philip 05:39 Yeah, he was an inspiration. I read his book, as I said, a 13-year-old, and that helped influence my sort of thinking and why I wanted to do these voyages. And that combined with an interest in history, and the explorers like Sir Francis Drake, and Sir Walter Raleigh, their exploits and reading about them, influenced me that I wanted to do something in the maritime world.
GT 06:10 Captain Cook?
Philip 06:12 Captain Cook, yeah, and what he did in the Pacific and the like, yeah, all of that interested me.
GT 06:18 Okay. So, for those people who aren’t familiar with Thor Heyerdahl, can you explain what he did and what his voyages were?
Philip 06:28 Yes, so, Thor Heyerdahl, he managed to be out in the Pacific at the time, really, of the Second World War. And he observed that the Polynesians and some of the Polynesian islands, that, amongst other things, that they had the sweet potato there. And the sweet potato was there when people like Captain Cook, and European sailors arrived in the Pacific for the first time. So, as the sweet potato originated from South America, Thor Heyerdahl put forward the theory that there must have been ocean going contact between South America and Easter Island, and the other Polynesian islands. So, he then built a balsa wood raft, and sailed it from Ecuador across to Easter Island to illustrate his theory. And he got a lot of criticism for it. Because it’s certainly true that most of the Polynesian islands were populated, as it happens, from the east, from Micronesia, and there were small voyages across to the Polynesian islands. But, in fact, just in the last three years, DNA evidence has proved that at least one boatload of sailors arrived at Easter Island and in Polynesia, from South America. And this is before the European explorers. So, he’s actually been proved correct. His theory was right, that the sweet potato would have come from a voyage, but perhaps only one boatload of people. But there is now DNA evidence to support this theory. And he then went on to do other voyages around the world. But his most successful, the most meaningful was the Kon-Tiki one. It really captured the imagination of the of the world. His other voyages were not so influential, shall we say.
GT 08:52 Okay, so he proved that South Americans were able to travel to the Polynesian islands, Easter Island, those sorts of things and brought the sweet potato with them.
Philip 09:01 Yes, that’s right. And that has now been confirmed that that’s true. Although the majority of the Pacific Islanders, as it happened, came from the east, yes.
GT 09:15 Okay.
Philip 09:18 Sorry, from the west, really, from Taiwan, Micronesia, Melanesia.
GT 09:24 They’re heading east, but yeah, okay. I’m getting my directions mixed up. Okay. So that’s interesting. So, did he make a voyage back from the Polynesian islands back to South America? Or was it just a one-way trip?
Philip 09:39 No, it’s pretty much a one way trip. In fact, it pretty much, it didn’t quite arrive where he wanted it to. But yeah, it was just a one-way trip. And indeed, it would have been a one-way trip for these people. Because a balsa wood raft would not have been a very effective vessel to sail in.
GT 10:01 Okay, because you don’t have a lot of control. You’re basically just bobbing around in the ocean.
Philip 10:05 Yeah, virtually no control. They managed to use one of the balsa wood logs as a bit of a rudder to help steer it. But it was pretty basic.
GT 10:15 So, Thor Heyerdahl was one of your inspirations. And then–because I think your first ship was an Indonesian ship. How how did you learn about that and tell us more about that story.
Philip 10:31 So, in fact, before I went into the Navy, I studied at Hull University. And there I did, partly, a course on Southeast Asian Studies. And in that course, I learned about how the Indo-Malay people had gone from Borneo, and Java across to Madagascar, and how cultural influences from Indonesia ended up in East Africa. And also, some of those influences ended up in West Africa, as well. And so, I was aware of that theory. Well, many years ago when I was about 21, I was able to travel through Indonesia, and I went to the Borobudur temple in Central Java. And there, they had about six reliefs of the ancient shipping from the eighth century. And I vowed as a sort of student that I would one day, build a replica of that ship, that was illustrated in Borobudur, and sail it across to Madagascar into West Africa, to illustrate how they would have reached Africa. That, I was able to do in 2003-2004.
GT 11:59 Okay. So, at the time, people were like, “Are you crazy?” Probably people think you’re crazy for doing this kind of stuff, don’t they?
Philip 12:09 Sometimes I hear some people say, “Yeah, they wouldn’t sail on a boat,” like I do. “For all the tea in China,” that expression. So, they say, “Yeah, this is a bit crazy what you’ve done.” But I think if it’s in your blood, and it’s your passion, and you persuade people to join a project like this, then it becomes reality.
First Ancient Indonesian Voyage
GT 12:35 And so when do you think the Indonesians sailed to Africa?
Philip 12:39 So the Indonesians almost certainly sailed to Africa between 500 AD and 800 AD. This temple at Borobudur is dated about 800 AD. And we know they definitely did get across, because the DNA in Malagasy is partly an Asian DNA. And the Malagasy language is an Asian language. It’s the only Asian language spoken in Africa. So, we know of the correlation, both by language and DNA. So, we know they definitely did get there. And we know fairly accurately when they went across.
GT 13:20 Okay. Was it a round trip, or was it also a one-way trip?
Philip 13:25 It was really a one-way trip. It would have been a one-way trip from Java, across to Madagascar. And then maybe around the Cape, there was, it’s fair to say, a route across the Indian Ocean to, sort of towards Somalia, and back towards Oman and India, in the ancient times, from Indonesia, and it was called the cinnamon route. And there was trade. The only place cinnamon was found in the ancient world was in Indonesia. And there are records saying that the Romans got access to cinnamon. So, there was the cinnamon route. But that wasn’t what I was trying to do. Although some people claimed that’s what I was trying to do, but I wasn’t. I was much more focused on the Malagasy connection.
GT 14:25 Now, that sounds a lot like Madagascar, is the same word?
Philip 14:29 Yeah, so Madagascar is the island. Malagasy is the language the…
GT 14:34 Malagasy.
Philip 14:34 …the Madagascar people speak.
GT 14:37 Okay.
Philip 14:37 Which is a very interesting language, because it’s a mixture of the Indo-Malay words, Indonesian words, Arabic words, because Arabic traders came down from Oman to the north of Madagascar, and then there’s African words. There’s the Bantu language, as well. So, you’ve got a great mixture of very colorful language.
GT 15:03 Very, very cool. And so this original route happened in 500. AD. Is that what you said?
Philip 15:10 Yes.
GT 15:11 And you think it was just a one-way trip?
Philip 15:15 Yes, I think so.
GT 15:16 Why would they be interested in doing a one-way trip?
Philip 15:19 So, we know that one of the voyages that were taken, there is a stone carving that they found in Borneo. So the varietal tribe that basically tells of a war, and that these people have to leave this region of Borneo, because their livelihoods were under threat. So, they will leave– almost certainly one of the voyages that happened was because the people felt unwelcome. And they were refugees, if you like. They had to flee. So that was certainly, I think, the inspiration for one of the voyages for the…
GT 16:09 Oh, so they were fleeing persecution, essentially.
Philip 16:11 They were fleeing persecution, that’s right. And then some people may have got there by accident, or there may not have been enough food. And they decided to, again, to flee and to look for new lands.
GT 16:24 Okay. So I know it seems like was when I was in school, a lot of times, they would say, “Well, ancient seafarers would always kind of hug the coastline.” But this sounds like, or correct me if I’m wrong, were you hugging the coastline? Are you taking an open route through the ocean from Indonesia to Africa?
Philip 16:47 We were ocean going. We were going straight across the ocean, using the trade winds that blow from the east to the west. So we were just trading, or sailing by the trade winds across the ocean. So, we were certainly weren’t hugging the land. Although, if there ever was a return journey, because the prevailing winds would have been against them, they would have had to go along the sort of northern coast and hug the coast back that way, but we were definitely ocean going, sailing.
GT 17:22 Okay, so, because the winds go from east to west, you can travel on the open ocean, but going west to east, you’re probably going to hug the coastline. Is that right?
Philip 17:35 Yeah, that’s right, we’re almost impossible to sail against the trade winds. Even modern yachts that have triangular sails and can sail closer to the wind, it’s virtually impossible to go against trade winds in any sort of meaningful way. But you can go around this–these are sort of convection or sort of currents and winds, if you like, but if you get to the north of them, you can get back, if you like, but it’s not an easy journey to make.
GT 18:04 Okay. So, you did this journey, remind me again, what year that was?
Philip 18:11 So we set off in August 2003.
GT 18:15 Okay.
Philip 18:15 And we arrived in Ghana, in West Africa in February 2004.
GT 18:21 Okay, so how long was–that was six months?
Philip 18:25 Yeah, roughly about six months, yeah.
GT 18:28 Yeah. How big was your crew?
Philip 18:30 We had about 14 people at any one time. And it was a mixed crew. We had, generally, half Indonesian crew, half International, both and different religions. We had a few ladies on board as well as gents. And it was quite a sort of United Nations, if you like, different peoples, different cultures, different religions.
And so as I recall, it seems like you found out that there was probably an even earlier voyage and that you wanted to replicate that. Is that right? After your Indonesian voyage?
Philip 19:10 Yes, that’s right. So, what happened was, when we got to Capetown, there was an Indian professor, who I think, for a bit of publicity, he was quite outspoken. He said, [that the] Indonesian ship [was] a forgery. The Indians got to Africa before the Indonesians. Now, I had never said that the Indonesians had gotten to Africa first, just that I was going to show that there was Indo-Malay influence on Africa. I, then, started to look at well, who were the first people to trade with Africa. And I came across the quote that Herodotus had said that he had been told, and he was writing in 450 BCE, he’d been told that in 600 BC, Phoenician mariners made the first circumnavigation of Africa on the sponsorship, if you like, of Pharaoh Nico, who was the Egyptian pharaoh ruling around 600 BC. So, I was then able to respond, “Well, I don’t think then the Indians were the first, history records that it was the Phoenicians.” And when I started looking at that, then I was sort of encouraged to actually make that my next area of interest and voyage. And now here we are, sort of, 17 years later, still talking about the Phoenicians. So, it’s been an amazing journey and an amazing project.
Where are Phoenicians From?
GT 20:39 Okay, so when I think of Phoenicians, and maybe I’m just an uneducated whatever, I always think of Greece or Greeks, or, like, they were pre-Greeks. Is that true?
Philip 20:51 Yes, the Phoenicians were the dominant traders in city states, in the eastern Mediterranean, from Tyre, in the south, Sidon, Beirut, Byblos, and Aradus or Arwad, in modern-day Syria. And they were the competition for the Greeks. Now, the Phoenicians were several hundred years ahead of them in terms of sailing expertise. And the Greeks acknowledged that the Phoenicians had the fastest ships, the strongest ships, and they were the best sailors. But there was that rivalry between them. And there were clearly some wars between the Greeks and various Phoenician factions fighting over resources and the like. So, they were competitive.
GT 21:49 Okay, so they were competitive with the Greeks, because I guess the Greeks named them the Phoenicians. That’s not what they called themselves.
Philip 21:56 That’s correct. So, the Greeks named them the Phoenicians or Phoeni or the purple Empire, if you like, so they sort of classified them. I think the Greeks were the first to sort of pigeonhole the Phoenicians. But the Phoenicians were never a single nation. They were individual city states. So, there were the Sidonians or the Tyronians. They were Arwadians, if you like. They were not [unified.] Each city state had its own culture. They had their own amphora and different styles, but there were some common characteristics. They were never actually a nation as such.
GT 22:43 Okay, so they weren’t really a nation. Because it sounds like they were in the same basic area as what we would call the Canaanites or the Israelites. Right? Is there any difference between the Phoenicians, the Canaanites and the Israelites?
Philip 22:56 So the Canaanites were the former Phoenicians, if you like. Some academics/historians would say, “Actually, the Phoenicians are no different from the Canaanites.” So, if you might say the Canaanites generally started say maybe around 2200 BC, up until say 1200 BC, and then we sort of say there was a Phoenician era, from 1200 BC to 146 BC, when the Romans finished them off at Carthage in modern day Tunisia. But, as I say, some academics think it was pretty much a continuous development of these people.
GT 23:48 So, the Canaanites became Phoenicians and then became Israelites. Can we say that?
Philip 23:53 I’m not sure and I’m not qualified to really comment on the Israelites. But certainly, I know that some academics say we shouldn’t really be distinguishing between the Canaanites and the Phoenicians. They were basically the same peoples.
GT 24:11 See, that’s funny, because I’ve always heard that the Canaanites and the Israelites were the same people.
Philip 24:19 I don’t really have the knowledge about the Israelites and the Canaanites. But I do know this chronology, if you like, of the Canaanites, to the Phoenicians. And as I say, some academics just say, “Well, they were really the same people.” There wasn’t any [difference.] They might have evolved to become more distinctive. So, from 1200 BC, of course, the Phoenicians suddenly started to do much more trade, because they developed these strong ships to trade. They started trading metals. They made thousands of ceramic pots and amphoras which they exported all over the Mediterranean, filled with olive oil and wine. And, in return, they bought industrial quantities of metals back to the Middle East. So, there was a cultural shift. But in terms of actual people, their ancestors were the Canaanites.
GT 25:18 Okay, because I’ve been trying to do a little bit of research. Because it looks like the Phoenicians were along Lebanon, Israel, Syria area. They were also along North Africa. Carthage, of course, was a huge city for them. Is that in Tunisia? Is that right?
Philip 25:38 Yes, yes.
GT 25:40 Did they get into Greece and Italy, that area as well? I couldn’t determine that.
Philip 25:45 So, the Phoenicians did get up towards Athens. There is the story of Cadmus and Europa, and there was an alliance, which was cemented with Athens. So, the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean, the Levant, was a common trading cultural area, you could argue. But the real innovation in terms of the expansion of the Phoenicians across the Mediterranean comes with the legend that the daughter of the king of Tyre, Queen Dido, having fallen out with her father, sailed with seven or eight sea captains to Cyprus, and then went on to found Carthage and establish Carthage as a place of commerce and the like. Of course, over time, so this was, we’re talking here, sort of seventh, eighth century, when Carthage–actually, it may have been founded even earlier than that.
GT 26:57 BC or AD?
Philip 26:58 BC. And then, by 300 BC, 200 BC, Carthage had become so powerful economically, that it was a thorn in the side of the Romans. And the Romans decided [that] Carthage must be destroyed. The Carthaginians, Hannibal tried to attack Rome by taking his elephants over the Alps, and could have easily conquered Rome, but held off from doing that. And then, after three Punic Wars and 100 years, the Romans finally sacked Carthage and Carthage is completely destroyed. But, not before Phoenician or Carthaginian influence had certainly dominated large areas of Sicily and places throughout the Mediterranean, like Mabea and Gibraltar and Cadiz.
GT 28:01 Okay, so it sounds like the Phoenicians were a lot more expansive than just the Israelites, who kind of just stayed in the Israel area. Is that safe to say?
Philip 28:11 Totally. So, the Phoenicians were really the first global traders. They traded from the Red Sea with Asia. They traded with Africa, and particularly North Africa, and with Europe. So, they were trading on three continents. And if it’s true that they also managed to reach the Americas, then maybe they traded on four continents. But yeah, in that sense, they were completely different from the Canaanites. They were adventurous. They were traders. They were looking for new opportunities in trade, all of the time and bringing their culture with them.
Lehi’s Voyage Around Africa
GT 28:52 Okay. And you mentioned America, I want to get into that in just a minute. Okay. So, you had read that Herodotus had said 150 years earlier, in 600 BC that the Canaanites had traveled around Africa. Is that right?
Philip 29:08 Yeah, the Phoenician mariners had basically organized an expedition to circumnavigate Africa. And it took them three years to complete the voyage.
GT 29:21 Okay, and so you wanted to replicate this voyage?
Philip 29:24 Yes.
GT 29:25 And you did it in less than three years, though, I’m guessing.
Philip 29:28 Well, it still took a long time, two years and two months.
GT 29:30 Oh, did it take that long?
Philip 29:31 Yes.
GT 29:33 And so where did you take off from as you tried to circumnavigate Africa?
Philip 29:39 So we started from Syria. We went through the Suez Canal. Now, you may wonder about that Suez Canal. The current Suez Canal is the third Suez Canal. And in the time of Pharaoh Necho, he built the first Suez Canal. Now, to be fair, he didn’t finish it. But there would have been probably about a 10 Kilometer gap where they would have pulled boats through the land part of it that wasn’t finished. But getting through the Suez area…
GT 30:16 So did you start in, like, Jerusalem and then go through the Suez Canal?
Philip 30:21 We started from Arwad in Syria. We went down to port Suez and then through.
GT 30:27 Okay, down through the Red Sea.
Philip 30:29 Through the Red Sea. And we had a few problems in the Red Sea. We went to the Yemen, to Al Hudaydah and Aden, and then to Salala, in the south of Oman, okay, before taking on the pirates in the Indian Ocean and off the coast of Somalia in the Horn of Africa. So, we were doing this in, by this time we were in 2009, at the height of the…
GT 30:57 Somali pirates were going crazy, yeah. You said you took them on. You tried to avoid them, right?
Philip 31:05 We tried to avoid them. So, we had satellite communications and email. And every day, we would get a report of where the latest attacks were happening. And because of those pirate attacks, we kept on having to sail further to the west, as best we could, to avoid those attacks.
GT 31:26 Oh, wow. And this is just a wooden boat.
Philip 31:30 Just a wooden boat, that’s right. Yes.
GT 31:32 You didn’t have a lot of cannons or anything to defend yourself?
Philip 31:36 No, all we had was, like, what’s called an LRAD, which is an electronic, just an incredibly large speaker, that if we were attacked by a group of pirates, we could play this ear splitting noise at them to disable them.
GT 31:57 Oh.
Philip 32:10 Because we’d been advised to get this piece of equipment. But we tried it out once on a friendly yacht. And we asked them, “Well, could you hear this? Was it painful or whatever?”
Philip 32:57 And they said, “All we heard was a little tweeting.” So, it probably wouldn’t have been much good.
GT 32:17 (Chuckling)
Philip 32:17 But we didn’t, we were advised not to take any guns and stuff. Thy said, “Look, if you’re going to take guns, got to want to use them and be prepared to use them.” And, we weren’t in that mold, shall we say.
GT 32:31 Okay, so you went down the Red Sea. You headed east a little bit to go around the Somali pirates, and then you had to get into the open ocean to go around Somalia, basically?
Philip 32:42 Yes, right. Yes. So, we ended up in Mayotte, in the Comoros Islands, just north of Madagascar. And then we went back towards the coast to Mozambique, and down around the South African coast towards Cape Town.
Emergency at Sea
GT 32:58 Okay. And that was where you hit some pretty good storms, I hear. Is that right?
Philip 33:03 Yeah, well, we had a bit of a storm, but it was just a strong wind off the Cape of Good Hope.
GT 33:12 Didn’t it blow you backwards?
Philip 33:14 Yeah, there was a day when the wind changed against us and just started to blow us backwards. But we managed to rig the sail in such a way that we just stayed in position, but we were going, yeah we were going backwards. But we were sort of facing the right way, if you like. And we were going back at about one knot, so over, like, 18 hours we went back about 20-odd miles. Then when the wind changed back to its normal position, we just carried on. But I wouldn’t actually describe it as a storm. It was just a changing wind direction, really.
GT 33:53 Oh, because Vera made it sound a little bit more dangerous than you’re making it sound.
Philip 34:02 So Vera is referring, I think, to when we actually got to the Cape. And when we got to the Cape, the winds were stronger, and they were probably 30-35 knots. And as we were going around the Cape, on the nights that we were doing it our sail split in two. And then, because we had no momentum from sails, those winds were quite [strong], and the seas were quite rough. The boat was rocking around and probably that would have been what she’s referring to. So that was a tricky time. And we had a limited time to take down the boom or the yard with the shredded sail, taking that down on deck, putting a new boom in place and securing another sail to it. So, we had, what we call a storm sail. And we had to fix that and then hoist the new boom to the halyard, and then hoist it up. All of that took about 45 minutes, whilst the ship was rocking around rather uncomfortably, as we were, I don’t know, eight or 10 miles off the Cape of Good Hope. So that was a bit stressful. And I think I…
GT 35:18 Vera tells a better story than you do. I’ve got to say. (Chuckling)
Philip 35:23 Well, the reason I probably don’t worry about it too much, is because I was focused on the plan to sort it all out and get the crew working and explaining.
GT 35:35 If I was on a ship, I’d want you to be in charge. I can tell.
Philip 35:38 So, I was telling the guy that, luckily, I had, I was on deck when it happened, which was just coincidence. I had just walked on deck and looked up and the sail just spit in front of my eyes. But then I was able to go down to below.
GT 35:53 I think that would have caused me to panic.
Philip 35:55 [I was able to] wake everybody up. I said, “All hands-on deck. All hands on deck.” And then I had a couple of minutes to collect my thoughts. And then I was able to brief the team. “Okay, guys, this is what we’ve got to do. First thing, get that boom down on deck. Take it off. Hold the halyard. Don’t let the halyard go, otherwise, we will never get anywhere, and put the new boom on it. And attach the new storm sail to it and get it up as quickly as we can.” So, I was always focusing on that. I wasn’t worrying. I wasn’t thinking we were going to sink or not. I just knew we had to get on with a task. Whereas other people– well, of course, Vera was on the helm. So, in a sense, what she was doing, she had to stay there. She would have been worrying like, “Is this going to work?” So she was probably in a much more exposed position, if you like, because if you’re working at a project, you’re just focused on that, where she had time to think about, “Well, what if they don’t manage to get the sail up and get going again?”
GT 35:55 Well, I think I would have panicked when I saw the sail rip. (Chuckling)
Philip 37:04 Yeah, well, it’s one of those things you learn as a Yacht Master, or captain. I believe it’s a very important thing to do, is when you’ve got a challenge like that, you need to give a very clear plan or brief to the team. If you’re clear, and you tell the guys and ladies what you want them to do, and they understand it, then there’s a very good chance they’ll actually do what you want. But if you don’t explain it to them, and some people know what to do, and some people don’t, it’s a recipe for disaster. So, I always try to give a good plan and explanation of what we’re going to do.
GT 37:48 I don’t know if you’re familiar with the story of the airplane that a couple of geese knocked out both engines and Captain Sullenberger landed it on the Hudson [River.] We were so glad he was so cool-headed. You sound like Captain Sullenberger.
Philip 38:04 Yeah, I mean, obviously, he was a hero. I mean, to do that, to have the presence of mind to calmly think, “Actually, I can’t land in these other airports. We’re not high enough up, but we can just about land in the Hudson.” And I think it was just about, wasn’t it? He missed the bridges and stuff.
GT 38:22 Right.
Philip 38:22 So yeah, you’ve just got to be calm, and stick to the plan, as it were, or make a plan quickly.
GT 38:29 I’m glad they had you on board. I would have been very nervous.
Blown off course, almost to Florida!
GT 38:35 All right. So, you had those rough winds around Cape Town, South Africa. What happened next?
Philip 38:44 So, we then made our way towards Saint Helena and the Ascension Islands. Because one of the challenges with modern-day replica ship sailing, is that we have new challenges that weren’t really there in the ancient times. So, in the Nile Delta, there was quite a lot, and there still is, quite a lot of piracy there. So, we wanted to cut the corner. So, we cut the corner and sailed to the Ascension Islands. Well, first of all Saint Helena, and then the Ascension Islands, which are pretty much in the middle of that southern part of the Atlantic. And from there, we wanted to get to the Azores. But we have this challenge of, again, easterly winds and currents blowing across the Atlantic. So, as we left the Ascension Islands, we got up to the equator, these trade winds were pushing us right across the Atlantic, in fact, more than I thought they would. I mean, I had allowed about 60 days, two months to sail that part up to the Azores. But it actually took us 82 days of sailing from the Ascension Island, up to the Azores. And we came within about 600 miles of the Florida coast. So, we got really close, because we were trying, I was trying my very best to turn the ship. But we were sort of waiting for the currents and the Gulf Stream to take us back towards the Mediterranean and towards the north of Europe. So, that was, that was challenging, because, although we take, probably about three tons of water and lots of dry food, and we can fish, we hadn’t expected to be out in the ocean for that long. So, we had to ration the water. And there was–undoubtedly the worst–some parents of the crew members that were getting quite concerned that we were bobbing around in the middle of the Atlantic, thinking that this was a foolhardy expedition, as opposed to one that was planned and prepared.
GT 41:12 So, you ended up going a lot closer to Florida than you were expecting, just because that’s the way the winds took you and the currents?
Philip 41:22 Yeah, totally. As I say, I knew we would get pushed across quite a way. But I had not envisaged that we’d get pushed so far, so close to Florida. I knew we would get pushed. As I say, I had estimated it would take a couple of months. But I thought we’d better–you can see from the wind charts that the winds do turn and change direction. But it took certainly longer than I thought, and it was harder. But we could only turn an old-style ship fairly gradually. We don’t have triangular sails that can point the boat into the wind. You have to have the wind on the beam or astern of you, so you have to wait. So that’s why we got pushed right across the Atlantic.
GT 42:13 So then you ended up sailing east again. So, you, basically, did circumnavigate Africa, replicating the old Herodotus story. Is that right?
Philip 42:25 Yes, that’s right. We showed it could be done. Of course, they might have stayed a little bit closer to the coast than we did. But, as I say, there were other factors, like piracy, that meant we went further out. Nonetheless, nobody could sail up the coast of West Africa. Because as I say, the winds, the northeast winds and trade currents push you out into the Atlantic, so it was always going to be that way.
GT 42:51 Okay. And so about how long did it take you to circumnavigate Africa in total then?
Philip 42:57 It took us two years and two months.
GT 43:00 Two years. You were on a ship for two straight years?
Philip 43:04 There was a break of about five or six months, in the Yemen, where we missed, because of our problems with sorting out the rudder. We missed the Northeast monsoon winds from Oman to take us down towards Mozambique and Dar es Salaam. So, we then had to wait, effectively, six months to the next [season.] Because they alternate every six months.
Philip 43:34 We missed them so we just had to wait out whilst the southwest monsoon blew. And then we came back. So, I went home. I found a couple of guys to look after the boat in Aden Harbor. And then I came back in October of 2009, and the crew reassembled, and we started again, effectively, having had that break. So, I wasn’t on board for all of those two years. But the actual expedition took two years and two months to complete. But then we did spend the next year on the boat. So, we did spend a year on the boat.
GT 43:34 Oh wow. Holy cow. That’s a long time. I can’t imagine.
Essentials of Ship Life
GT 44:17 That brings up other things like, just using the bathroom. It’s not like [a cruise ship.] I mean, how did that work?
Philip 44:28 Well, yeah, so we have sort of like this, what we call the heads, the bathroom, which is just a box that’s attached to the side of the ship. And you have to climb out over the railing of the ship to sit on the box and do your business there, as it were. The good thing about that is it’s very easy to clean and keep tidy. If you’ve got an internal one, you’ve got all the cleaning and …
GT 44:59 And the smells.
Philip 44:59 And the smells. You can just chuck a bucket of saltwater over this outside one, and that’s good. But it does, probably, frighten some people to be doing that in big seas. In fact, I was reminded only yesterday from a crew member. He said, “Do you remember when we woke up and the heads had fallen off the boat?”
GT 45:25 Oh.
Philip 45:26 So, as we were going up towards Salalah, one morning, we woke up and there was no heads there. And it had just fallen off. I mean, thank goodness there wasn’t anybody on the pot at the time it fell off. I mean, it would have been a disaster.
GT 45:40 Whoa.
Philip 45:42 We don’t know why it fell off. But we had a couple of Indonesian shipbuilders on board. And within a few hours, my friend Dearman had made it a new, tougher toilet.
GT 45:56 Wow, that’s crazy.
Evidence of Phoenicians in America?
GT 45:59 So, roughly it took, so from Salalah, it took you, basically, 16 months to circumnavigate Africa. Is that right?
Philip 46:05 Yeah, it took us about a year, actually, a year.
GT 46:08 A year, okay.
Philip 46:08 So, we left in sort of mid-October. And by the end of October 2010, we had managed to get back to Lebanon and Syria.
GT 46:26 Okay. So, then you did the second voyage? What was the purpose of the second voyage?
Philip 46:34 So, having, learned more and more about the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians over the years, I began to think, “Well, these were great sailors.” I mean, the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, they were the first recorded sailors in the Atlantic. They had two admirals, Admiral Himilco, who did an expedition to Northern Europe. And then Admiral Hainault did a voyage down the West African coast, possibly as far as Cameroon. And these were recorded in history. Then, there’s these pieces of information like, Strabo, for example, writing in the history. As you know, he’s considered sort of the father of modern geography. He said that the Phoenicians had 300 trading settlements down the eastern Atlantic coast from Iberia, all the way down, probably as far as Senegal. And when you start putting all this information together, you realize there was a lot of activity going on in the Atlantic.I started to think–well, actually, I wasn’t the first to think this. I mean, for over 100 years, people have thought that maybe the Phoenicians were the first ancient sailors to reach the Americas and the New World before Columbus, before the Vikings. So, I then put together this expedition, the Phoenicians before Columbus expedition to illustrate how the Phoenicians could have reached the New World.
GT 48:14 Okay. And so, who were some of the people that were saying that they reached the New World? I’m not familiar with that.
Philip 48:21 Well, there are people who have written about this. I think the best proponent of the theory is a mathematics professor from Italy, called Lucio Russo. And he’s written a book, The Forgotten America. And he’s a historical scientist, if you like. He’s a mathematician. He’s researched a lot of information about the distances involved, and he’s gone right back to some of the ancient texts, so like Tolmie and Marinus of Tyre and their calculations. He has, sort of deduced, if you like, that the ancients knew, not just of the Canary Islands, which are just only offshore of the African mainland that they knew of islands much further away, three and a half thousand miles [away.]
GT 49:31 Like Haiti and Cuba, and things like that?
Philip 49:33 Yes, like the Caribbean, like the Antilles Islands and such. And he is convinced that the ancients knew a lot more about the Caribbean. He, also, uses the example of Pytheas of Marseille and said he got, in the ancient times, third century B.C. he got as far as Greenland, for example. So, for me, he is the best proponent of what I’m trying to convey.
GT 50:07 So, who got to Greenland? Who were the people? The Canaanites, or the…
Philip 50:11 No, actually he’s a Greek, believe it or not. He’s a Greek guy. I’ve sort of downplayed the role of the Greeks. He was a Greek explorer, very methodical. But he’s known as Pytheas of Marseille, for some reason. And he did an expedition. And in his expedition records, he records the fact that the sun doesn’t stop shining, because he got so far north, and that there was a sea of ice, and that he met these indigenous people. He called the people of Thule. When you then analyze the distances involved and where he was going–actually, Professor Russo concludes that he was almost certainly talking about having reached Greenland in his expedition.
GT 50:30 And this is in 300 B.C.
Philip 51:15 This is, yeah, third century B.C.
Beale’s 2nd Voyage
GT 51:20 Okay. So, you took a trip across the Mediterranean, through the Straits of Gibraltar and then ended up in Florida.
Philip 51:32 Correct, yes, not a direct route. We went down from Cadiz, down the coast of Africa to Agadir, or Essaouira in Morocco, which was one of the great Phoenician ports or Carthaginian ports, where they traded metals and African goods and the like. Then we hopped across to the Canary Islands, which were known to the Phoenicians. There’s evidence for that. From there, we just let this ship pretty much find its way across the Atlantic. And we ended up in the Dominican Republic. From there, we wanted to bring this expedition to the attention of America. We then made our way up to Florida.
GT 52:24 How long did that take?
Philip 52:27 That took just over five months.
GT 52:30 Oh, so that was a lot faster.
Philip 52:31 A lot faster, relatively simple, yeah.
GT 52:34 Oh, wow. So that was that was the much easier route to go, then.
Philip 52:38 Yes, because it’s the Gulf Stream. It’s like a conveyor belt. So, it would have been relatively easy for the Phoenicians who had, clearly, all these trading settlements, for them to get out into the Atlantic and be blown across in one way or another to the Caribbean.
GT 52:55 And so what was the purpose of going across the Mediterranean and taking the route you did to Dominican Republic and Florida?
Philip 53:05 Sort of twofold, really. We wanted to start the expedition in Carthage, because all of these big expeditions historically probably would have started from Carthage. That was the power in the western Mediterranean, and certainly the Tunisian authorities. People really appreciated the fact that we wanted to start our expedition there. Then, these other ports we went to before we set across the Atlantic, they were great Phoenician states and had a lot of culture and history. So, we wanted to acknowledge that. Then it was a question of leaving from the Canary Islands and going across. But we were trying to show that a Phoenician ship would have made relatively light work of getting across the Atlantic. That was the primary aim.
GT 54:05 So you ended up in Florida. Because you said a while back that you thought there was evidence that the Phoenicians might have traded in America? Do we have any evidence that they traded in North America?
Philip 54:21 We don’t have really specific information that they did, but there are clues if you like, things which need further research. But in some of these texts that we’re aware of, there are a number of ancient writers, who said they met sailors who had returned from a 40-day voyage across the Atlantic. So, people like Seneca, Sebostis, these ancient writers, they document that they have met sailors who’ve done a voyage lasting a similar amount of time as it took Columbus to get across the Atlantic, and the same similar time that it took us to get across there. So, there are things like that. But then there are also some interesting pieces of other evidence. The Cherokee, for example, an indigenous Indian tribe, they have what’s called like the Middle Eastern DNA. And the question is, how did that DNA get into an indigenous Indian tribe? A lot of Indian tribes believe they came from the east across the Great Salt, or, the great ocean. So, there are various other bits of information as well. So, right now, I’d say there’s not an absolute silver bullet that proves it, emphatically.
GT 56:05 We don’t have a sweet potato or something like that.
Philip 56:07 We don’t have a sweet potato, we don’t have like, the Viking settlement in Newfoundland, which has been documented and authenticated by the academics. But the thing to understand is that every week, archaeologists and scientists are discovering new information. I mean, the increase in the amount of knowledge we have has been exponentially increased all the time. And it’s my belief that over the next, who knows how long, maybe 10-20 years, the evidence we need will emerge. But there’s lots of anecdotal bits and pieces, but I wouldn’t say we’ve got emphatic proof right now.
GT 56:49 Okay. So, by the way, when was this trip from Carthage to Florida?
Philip 56:58 So, we left Carthage on the 28th of September 2019. And we arrived in Florida on the 4th of February 2020, just in time to be locked down by COVID.
GT 57:11 By COVID, oh, so you just barely beat COVID to get here.
Philip 57:15 We barely beat COVID, which was a little bit of a problem, because, obviously, we wanted to celebrate and publicize what we had done. But COVID meant that all the crew had to go home as quickly as possible. And we weren’t really able to get our story out as we would have liked. So, in a way, that’s partly why we’re doing it now. It’s all been documented with a new book, Atlantic BC, which viewers can find it at https://Atlanticbc.net on the internet. And we’re able to publicize it, so that’s partly why it’s good to talk to you about this great story and to bring it to people’s attention.
GT 57:56 So, you landed in Florida in February. COVID locks down everything in March. Were you planning on sailing back to Carthage before COVID hit? Was that the original plan?
Philip 58:13 No, it wasn’t really the plan to sail it back to Carthage, although had the Tunisian authorities or the Moroccan or the authorities in Cadiz, expressed an interest in having the Phoenicia as a potential museum exhibit, then we would have worked out a way, either by sailing or transporting the ship back to those places. But COVID really put pay to any sort of aspirations to think about how important this vessel could be as a tourist attraction and the like. So, all of those ideas and plans fell apart. And the Phoenician was left here in Florida for the last couple of years.
GT 59:03 And then a hurricane hit, apparently. Is that what happened?
Philip 59:07 Yeah, that’s not quite true, actually.
GT 59:09 Okay.
Philip 59:10 It’s sort of poetic license, I think. But what happened was the vessel was moored in Fort Lauderdale. Clearly, it takes on quite a bit of water every day. So, there’s an electric bilge pump that’s pumping out the water on a timer and the fuse went and the electricity failed. The boat then filled up with water.
GT 59:42 Oh, no.
Philip 59:43 And the person who was overseeing it didn’t notice until it sunk. So, the boat sunk, but luckily, it was only in five foot of water. So, it just went to the bottom of one of these canals in Fort Lauderdale. So, the deck was not underwater, but everything else was. So, the clothing and equipment of the crew and everything was underwater. I came back after that incident in June last year, and literally put tons of soggy wet clothes and rubbish into a dumpster to clean it all out. So, that’s what actually happened. It’s one of those unfortunate things that the electricity supply failed. Luckily there was no…
GT 1:00:45 So that was the hurricane?
Philip 1:00:47 That was the hurricane. And within 48 hours, we’d had the boat pumped out and refloated and stuff, so it wasn’t underwater for long, but that was the hurricane.
GT 1:00:59 And that was just a normal storm. It wasn’t like a tropical storm.
Philip 1:01:03 Just a normal storm. The boat had historically come close to sinking in that similar kind of thing twice, but it never–the pumps had failed, and the water was rising. But we managed to get there in time. In this case, they hadn’t noticed that it started to sink. But the fortunate thing was, as I say, it was only in five feet of water. So, it actually couldn’t really sink that far. It wasn’t like it was completely underwater.
Turning Phoenician Ship into Museum
GT 1:01:29 Yeah. Interesting. So, originally the plan was you were going to ship it back to a museum in England. Is that right?
Philip 1:01:40 Yeah, wherever it was going to be. We didn’t have a firm offer. But there were interested people. There were people who had interest in Lebanon that wanted it. There was potential interested in Syria. But as I say, COVID pretty much put everything on hold. Nobody wanted to talk.
GT 1:01:59 It sounds like they had already cut up the ship and sent part of it to England or something. Is that right?
Philip 1:02:04 Yeah. So what happened was, I came out in June 2021, cleaned up the ship, tried to get it looking reasonable after this episode of being flooded. And then I approached virtually all of the North American maritime museums with a view to try to find a home for it. And I also went back to some of the European candidates as well. Everyone said, “Oh, it was a great project. It’s wonderful what you’ve done, but our museum is either full, or we don’t really have an international mandate, or it doesn’t really fit with what we’re trying to do at our museum.” And I could get really, very little interest.
Philip 1:02:52 So, what I decided to do then, I said, “Okay, well, COVID is still with us. Nobody is really thinking in a positive sort of mindset at the moment. But they will in due course.” So, I decided I would cut the boat up, put it in two containers, I would ship that back to the U.K. And then when there was interest, and somebody would say, “Yeah, we want the Phoenician ship.” We could just ship it to wherever and it could be reassembled and restored. Because you have to remember, I was paying thousands of dollars every month for berthing, maintenance, insurance. And I just had to sort of stop it and say, “Look,” because it had already been two years longer than I thought it should have been.”
GT 1:03:42 Right.
Philip 1:03:42 So, I took that decision. And then the first container had been loaded and shipped last year in December 2021. Then, the Heartland Research Group came forward and said, “We are interested. We’d like to acquire the ship.”
Philip 1:04:03 And then I explained, “Well, half of its already on our way back to the U.K., but you can have the other half and then we can send the other bit back later.” And that’s what we’ve done. And now there is this great plan to have a Phoenician ship museum at Montrose on the Mississippi, opposite Nauvoo, and it’s going great guns. So, it’s a complicated story, but we finally got there. We finally got a home for Phoenicia, which is going to be fantastic.
GT 1:04:33 And so explain why the Heartland Research Group would be interested in your ship. Because we haven’t talked about that at all yet.
Philip 1:04:40 No, that’s right. So, as you’re well aware, there are two LDS prophets, if you like. There is the prophet Lehi, who is believed to have made a voyage from Salalah to the promised land, to America. And by complete coincidences, I didn’t know this from where I was standing, but the first voyage that I explained that we came within 600 miles of Florida, virtually replicates one of the theories of the voyage of Lehi. So that was already relevant. And then…
GT 1:05:26 Yeah, you could have easily kept going on to Florida. Right? But you were trying to get back to Africa.
Philip 1:05:30 We could easily have gone to Florida. It would have been the easiest thing in the world. But my mandate was to circumnavigate Africa, not to come to Florida. So, I resisted that and tried to, as I said, to turn the boat as best I could.
GT 1:05:44 And it would have been faster to go to Florida, probably.
Philip 1:05:47 Totally faster, and we’d have had much, much more fun, I’m sure if we’d gone to Florida, than trying to get to the Azores. But that was, as I say, the mandate. But then, again, the second voyage, which we’ve done relatively recently, the Phoenicians before Columbus, as it so happened, that has replicated the second voyage, if you like, or prophet Mulek’s alleged voyage from the Mediterranean, across the Atlantic, again to the Americas. Therefore, that’s got significance to the LDS community, because the boat has effectively replicated two of the theories that LDS followers hold dear to their hearts. So that’s why the Heartland Research Group was so keen to acquire the Phoenicia, understanding it was looking for a home, and it’s all, as I say, come together in a very nice way.
Philip’s Feelings about Book of Mormon Voyages
GT 1:06:54 Well, now Boyd Tuttle was one of your shipmates. Right? Is he the president of Digital Legend?
Philip 1:07:01 That’s right. Yes, he is. Yes. And he has been a supporter, and he joined the ship in Carthage, and sailed with us up until Cadiz.
GT 1:07:13 Were there any LDS people on the first voyage around Africa?
Philip 1:07:19 There were two, of which I didn’t know they were LDS. In all honesty, I wasn’t really aware of the voyages of the LDS prophets of Lehi and Mulek. I didn’t know anything about it. Actually, one of them, I didn’t realize until this week that they were associated with the LDS. That was Warren Aston.
GT 1:07:49 Oh really? I need to get him on.
Philip 1:07:51 He did a leg from Aden in the Yemen, to Salalah. I had no idea that he was LDS. Then we had a gentleman called Keith Johnson, who joined us from Mayotte down to Mozambique. And he did say, he did tell me that, “Philip, you don’t realize what you’re doing. This really is important to us.” I gradually started to understand the story a bit better. But so, yes, we had those two people on board on the first journey. And then, on the Atlantic journey, we had Boyd Tuttle and two other LDS followers, Doug Petty, and his son, Carson Petty. So, yes, they participated and took part in this historic expedition.
GT 1:08:54 So you’re not LDS.
Philip 1:08:57 I’m not LDS, np.
GT 1:08:58 So, what do you think of this story? Is it a crazy story? Of course, you’re a crazy captain. So, I guess if it all fits together. Right?
Philip 1:09:05 It all fits together. I mean, I’ve always said about my expeditions, that I don’t really mind who joined or helps, and who we partner with, as long as it’s for good reason. So, for example, I wouldn’t accept any sponsorship from a tobacco company, because I don’t believe what they do is honorable, but as long as it’s for a good, peaceful purpose, then I’m very happy to work with anyone. So, I’m delighted to work with LDS and the Heartland Research Group, because I think it’s only a positive thing. And it helps to bring the whole story of what we’ve been doing with the Phoenician project overall to many, many more people. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be as well known. So, it’s a sort of win-win situation, as far as I’m concerned.
GT 1:10:08 Yeah. Okay. But I guess it would probably be safe to say you haven’t become a believer in the Book of Mormon, yet, or have you?
Philip 1:10:20 No, I haven’t become a convert, yet. I’m sure one or two people would like me to be a convert. I haven’t become a convert. But I’m open minded about these things. I think it’s a great story. And I think if people get comfort from it, and it helps in everyday life, then, I haven’t got a problem with it.
Why Pacific Crossing is Improbable
GT 1:10:43 Okay. Have you become familiar with the, I’m going to call it the geography wars within the Book of Mormon?
Philip 1:10:52 Yeah, I’ve become more recently aware of what is called a geographical debate with regard to the prophets, and which way they may have reached the promised land. Yes, I’m now aware of that. If you’d asked me two or three months ago, I wasn’t really aware of it, but I am now more aware of that.
GT 1:11:17 Okay. Because I would say probably the two most popular theories are the Heartland Model, which you’ve spent the last week here learning about that a little bit, I’m sure. But there’s also a Mesoamerican model. And in that model, they believe that Lehi, instead of crossing the Atlantic Ocean crossed the Pacific Ocean. We’ve talked a little bit about Thor Heyerdahl, because he did some voyages across the Pacific, although they were from west to east, not east to west. Can you talk about the feasibility of traveling and let’s say from Salalah, because I think both Mesoamerica and Heartlanders would agree, pretty much that Lehi probably came to Salalah, and the question is, did he go around to Africa? Or did he hug the coast and then jet across the Pacific? What do you think about that?
Philip 1:12:18 So I mean, I obviously can’t really comment about the religious aspects, but from what I understand, the voyage would probably have taken place in the autumn, October time from Salalah. Now, that’s when we left. And the important point about that is, if that’s correct, then you would have had the Northeast monsoon blowing the wind down towards Mozambique and around the Cape. So, therefore, that would lead me to think that the most likely, the easiest way to sail would have been on that northeast monsoon. It reverts every six months. So, after six months, you get a southwest monsoon that takes the winds from, shall we say, Zanzibar up to Oman and would have perhaps pushed him in the other way. But I think if you look at the journey across the Indian Ocean the other way, there are a couple of quite significant problems.
GT 1:13:30 Okay.
Philip 1:13:30 The first problem is, it’s twice as far. It’s about 12,000 nautical miles. Whereas the other one is going to be 6000 or 7000 nautical miles. And it’s more challenging. There was a replica ship called the Jewel of Muscat. And they struggled even to get the boat to Singapore. They ended up having it towed to Singapore, because it’s quite difficult to navigate around the Straits of Malacca and through towards, shall we say, Hong Kong. And then you’ve got this vast expanse of thousands of miles across the Pacific. And you’re faced with the trade winds, in the central belt. There are doldrums on the on the equator, but either side, you’ve got the east to west trade winds. And it’s virtually impossible for a traditional square-rigged boat with a single sail to go against the trade winds. I mean, virtually impossible. There are some, even modern yachts that have the triangular sails and that can point into the wind, you know, that would be considered going around the wrong way. As a sailor, we all say, “East to west is best.” So, if you’re going to do around the world voyage, you always go east to west. So, it seems counter-intuitive to think that Lehi could have gone across the Pacific, from west to east. Theoretically, you could have sailed from, say, Hong Kong, all the way up to Japan and all the way around the top and that, or down in the roaring 40s. But, given you could have easily sailed down the coast of East Africa and around the Cape, and across to the Caribbean fairly quickly, without too many problems, I think it’s quite a stretch to think that that a plausible theory.
GT 1:15:39 So, the Atlantic would be much easier than the Pacific.
Philip 1:15:41 The Atlantic would be much easier than the Pacific. [It would be] easier, less time consuming, quicker, following the current. And the currents and winds, they haven’t changed for thousands of years. I mean, right now, with climate change, some of the storms are getting a bit more intense. But, still, the general currents and winds are in the same way.
GT 1:16:05 Right. So, if you’re going from Hong Kong, you’re either going to have to go up through Japan and around Alaska and then down, or you’re going to go the opposite way, and you’re going to come up through South America?
Philip 1:16:15 Yeah, you’d have to head down towards New Zealand and go down into the really, what the sailors called the roaring 40s, the really rough weather.
GT 1:16:27 So that South American area would be really tough sailing.
Philip 1:16:30 Tough sailing, yeah. And then to get back up to Central America would be–there are currents and winds that would do that. But it wouldn’t be easy. It wouldn’t be plain sailing.
GT 1:16:42 I was trying to do some research for this interview, trying to make the case—I’ll play [team] Meso for a minute. And it did look like there is an equatorial countercurrent that goes right across the equator. It looked like, as you mentioned, the Alaskan air way or the roaring 40s were probably easier. But there was a counter current across the equator, and it does look like it ends up in Guatemala, possibly. Do you think that’s a possibility or not?
Philip 1:17:21 Not really, because the thing about that is the current, let’s say, at best, a current, on average, might give you three quarters of a knot, maybe. If you’re lucky, you’d get one knot. So, one mile per hour. But the winds against you will be pushing you two to three knots in the opposite direction. So, although the current might be going one way, the winds are going to blow you back the other way, anyway.
GT 1:17:53 And the wind is going to be more powerful than the current?
Philip 1:17:56 Yeah, so it’s always wind over current. Wind is always the dominant vector, if you like. So, although you might get that counter current going the other way, the winds or the doldrums, are not going to help you.
GT 1:18:13 And the Phoenicians wouldn’t have had a triangular sail to take advantage of those kinds of winds.
Philip 1:18:20 That is true. We played around with the sail configuration, and theoretically, you can Braille it to change the shape a little bit and point the boom into the wind. But, when you do that, the foot of the sail is rolled up. And the advantage you get from the triangular sail bed is detracted by the drag of this other part of the sail that you’ve rolled up. So, it’s not an efficient sail. And it’s not clear that the Phoenicians really used the sail in that way. The Arabic-Latin sail, the triangular sail, came much later. So, I don’t believe that that is really a [solution.] We tried it quite a lot, and it doesn’t really work. I mean, sometimes you think you’re going forward towards a triangular sail. But actually, you’re not going forward. You’re actually being pushed sideways. So, I don’t think that’s plausible, really.
GT 1:19:44 Okay. I’m going to continue to play team Meso for just a minute. Let’s assume that they did follow the Atlantic Ocean then. Would it have been relatively easy instead of going to Florida to go to, say, Guatemala?
Philip 1:20:00 Yeah, I think, where we were. I mean, we ended up further south than I thought. So, we ended up at Santa Domingo on the south side of the Dominican Republic. I thought we’d probably end up in maybe the American or British Virgin Islands, slightly further north, slightly nearer to Florida. But had we wanted to, it would have been very easy for us to continue with the winds behind us and to go on past the south of Cuba, north of Jamaica, and head into the Gulf of Mexico, not a problem.
GT 1:20:44 You could go anywhere within the Gulf. So, Guatemala to all the way to Florida, at any point in there would be relatively easy?
Philip 1:20:52 Within reason. So, if you can imagine, you’ve got the wind immediately behind you, which is generally the way the winds come across, say, at the point of the Dominican Republic. You’ve then got an arc that you can sail from. So, perhaps 45 degrees to the south and 45 degrees to the north. And then maybe the winds will turn a little bit and, again, you’ve then got an arc. You can’t sail at 90 degrees to the wind. But you can certainly sail that 45-50 degrees to the wind. So that will give you an envelope where you could sail if you’ve got the wind behind you. So, you’ve got some flexibility there.
GT 1:21:39 So how far south? Is Guatemala feasible, then? I guess that’s what I’m asking.
Philip 1:21:48 Yeah, I think that it’s not impossible.
GT 1:21:50 Okay.
Philip 1:21:51 Yeah, I think that you’ve got that arc, probably. So, you could probably get from, shall we say, from Texas, all the way to Guatemala, that kind of–depending where you want to go. You could probably do that.
GT 1:22:07 So okay. Then, of course, you ended up in Florida. And that was relatively easy. So, pretty much anywhere within the Gulf you could hit?
Philip 1:22:17 Yeah, I think so. Your only constraints are going to be food and water and fishing, and the mentality of the crew. What do we want to do? Do we want to find land and then we’d be sailing along and see some birds flying in one direction and say, “Well, maybe land is over there. That’s where we’re going to go.” Or “No, let’s just keep going.” You’ve got a certain amount of flexibility. So, what we did when we came across the Atlantic, because we didn’t have a specific destination, we just kept the rudders fairly neutral. And as I say, we ended up quite further south than we thought we would, or than, personally, I thought we would. But you’ve got that flexibility. Yeah.
Is Jaredite Submarine Possible?
GT 1:23:04 Interesting, interesting. This also brings up the story of the brother of Jared. Are you familiar with that story at all? Has anybody told you about that?
Philip 1:23:15 No, I’m not really familiar with that.
GT 1:23:17 Well, I’m going to ask you, since you’re the sea expert. The story of the brother of Jared says they built these, it sounds kind of like a submarine, almost. Two things like unto a dish. They would have a hole that they could open to see if they were above water or not. And of course, this would have taken place long before even Lehi, maybe 1000 years before. Can you imagine building any type of a–and it sound like they just kind of floated in the ocean. And it was really dark. Can you imagine building any kind of a ship like that? Almost a submarine kind of a thing where it would just kind of float and make it to America? Does that sound feasible at all, especially 1000 years before Lehi?
Philip 1:24:18 Well, I think there was a guy, I think in the 60s or the 1970s, who literally built himself a barrel. I think he left from France or maybe Spain. He builds himself a barrel with a hatch. And he just wanted to show that you could float across the Atlantic. And he did it. I mean, I think it took him two or three months to do it. And he just lived in this barrel, and it floated across. And there have been other things. So, it’s certainly possible to float across.
GT 1:24:55 Okay.
Philip 1:24:56 If you’ve got the perseverance and the like, I mean…
GT 1:25:00 Who would want to live in a barrel? But I guess somebody did.
Philip 1:25:02 Yeah, he did do it in a barrel. And I’m sure it’s all on the internet.
GT 1:25:08 Interesting.
Philip 1:25:08 So, theoretically, yeah, I mean, that’s my argument for, like, why I think the Phoenicians could have been the first of the ancient sailors to do it because the winds and the currents will push across. But, of course, if you’ve got a nice big square sail, that you can capture the wind, you’re going to be going maybe three or four knots in terms of speed across the ocean. Whereas if you’re floating, it comes back to the currents point of view, he’s probably only going it three quarters of a knot across the ocean. So, I wouldn’t dismiss it, but it’d be quite a challenging way to cross the ocean.
Did China, Japan, Vikings Discover America?
GT 1:25:46 Certainly. It does bring up the other idea, because I know John Sorenson, he’s kind of the Mesoamerican expert. He has documented–well, you mentioned the Vikings. But it sounds like the Chinese and maybe the Japanese may have made trips across to America. Are you familiar with those? And do you think those are feasible?
Philip 1:26:13 I think…
GT 1:26:15 I believe there’s a book called 1421 that the Chinese, supposedly, came to the Americas 70 years before Columbus.
Philip 1:26:23 Yes, I think that book has been largely discredited. It’s a an exercise in creative writing, shall we say.
GT 1:26:33 Okay.
Philip 1:26:35 And the starting point of the book is quite reasonable. Undoubtedly, the Chinese did have these major ships. They certainly, I think I’m right in saying third century B.C., they got to East Africa, because they got a giraffe. And they took this giraffe back to Beijing. And there are images of this giraffe that they had in Beijing. So, we know they did some significant voyages.
GT 1:27:06 Round trips, even.
Philip 1:27:07 Yeah, round trips. And they certainly traded with India. And they did that sort of route across the Indian Ocean. We know that. But anything much more than that is speculation. But they did have maritime power. I mean, it was much later than we’re talking about here. And their ships are a different kind. They’re not quite the square rigs that we’ve been talking about just now. But I wouldn’t discount the fact that the Chinese could have gotten across, but it’s a different kind of ship. I think it is possible that they might have come across to towards California or something. But I don’t think it’s comparable with an ancient Phoenician ship, that Lehi might have sailed in.
GT 1:28:00 Well, yeah, I understand that. But are you discounting that they came to America in 1421? You don’t think that happened?
Philip 1:28:12 I think the date is problematic, I think the whole 1421 thesis has been pulled apart. The starting point is quite reasonable. It’s undoubtedly true that the Chinese were preeminent in Southeast Asia in sailing terms, at that point. But this idea that the Chinese were in the Caribbean, and they were in Newfoundland, and they went down to the Antarctic is just a bit of a nonsense, really.
GT 1:28:42 Okay. I was also looking at Japanese. There might have been some Japanese. Would it be feasible for them to go up, maybe up north, like you said, through the Aleutian Islands, and maybe down?
Philip 1:28:54 I’ll be open minded about that. Yeah. I think the Japanese character, and how determined they are. I don’t think you’d bet against them. But I don’t know where there’s any real evidence, but it’s possible.
GT 1:29:14 Okay. The other ocean, we mentioned the Vikings a little bit. Can you talk a little bit about them? Do you know when they came to, I guess Canada, right?
Philip 1:29:25 Yeah, that’s right. I find that the Viking story interesting, very interesting and relevant to the Phoenicians coming to the Americas. So, if you went back 100 years ago, there were the stories of the Icelandic sagas and they said in these stories that the Vikings came across the land to the west of Iceland, and that they found these lands, not just Greenland, but other lands to the west. And all the academics turned around and said, “Ah, there just legends. They’re just stories. There’s no truth in it. But they’re just stories that they told the grandchildren and stuff.” And, of course, in the 1960s they found this Viking settlement in Newfoundland. And just in the last couple of years, because of the way the archaeologists documented and looked after that site, they’ve been able to identify the exact year that that settlement was in existence. And it’s 1021 A.D. in Newfoundland, that the Vikings were there. But what’s interesting is, as I said, academics until the 1960s, completely dismissed the possibility that the Vikings could have made it to North America. So, it’s now established as fact. So, you go through this cycle of skepticism, grudging acceptance, and then it becomes mainstream. So, the Vikings theory is now mainstream, accepted as fact. Where we are with the Phoenicians bit is, we are still at this sort of…
GT 1:31:09 We’re in the 1960s.
Philip 1:31:10 Yeah, we’re in the 1960s. We’re still a bit skeptical. We’re getting a little bit more open-minded. Maybe there is a bit more evidence now. But we haven’t accepted, we haven’t quite got the final bit. So, hence my comment earlier, it may be another 10 or 20 years before it becomes accepted wisdom.
GT 1:31:32 Or if we’re going from the 60s, maybe 60 years, huh? (Chuckling)
Philip 1:31:36 Yeah, well, yeah, we’re at the 60s. But things are speeding up in terms of archaeological discoveries and science.
GT 1:31:44 So the Phoenicians were a Semitic people. Do we have any idea? Were they Hebrew speaking, or do you know anything about that?
Philip 1:31:55 I think, = semitic, yes, closely correlated with the Hebrew.
GT 1:32:03 I guess Arabic is kind of a Semitic language, too. Or am I wrong on that? I don’t know. Maybe I’m speaking out of turn. I’m not sure. I know there’s some Semitic origins in…
Philip 1:32:14 Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, and I think so, for the Phoenicians, too. But you have to be one of these linguist language experts, because obviously, our modern-day alphabet is derived from the Phoenician alphabet, but where it links in with the Hebrew and the like, but I do know a lot of a lot of commentators look at it as almost the same, Phoenician and Hebrew and I guess they look at the Phoenician alphabet. Well, actually, it’s highly correlated with the Hebrew.
To Learn More….
GT 1:33:01 All right, I’m trying to remember. What else do we need to know about the Phoenicia ship, or your voyage?
Philip 1:33:10 Well, I guess if people want to learn more about the Phoenician ship, we’ve got the books available at Atlantic BC. Also, there’s a documentary of the first voyage that’s on https://phoenicia.rocks, which is the website for the Heartland Research Group, and the plans for the Phoenicia Ship Museum on the Mississippi. So, there’s lots more information there. And you can download that documentary there. You can go to Atlanticbc.net for ordering books and the like. So, yeah, we just wanted to try and get this story out and told, and we’ll be holding events in the future. Volunteers can come and help with the reconstruction of the Phoenician ship at Montrose on the Mississippi in the summer. And they’ll be supported with accommodation and the like. So yeah, everybody’s welcome to help in the project.
GT 1:34:16 Are you supervising the reconstruction of your ship, making sure to do it right?
Philip 1:34:21 I’m not in charge, but I will give my opinion if I’m asked. The guys are doing a great job. And they’re well on the way to getting that first half rebuilt, and they’re doing a great job in putting it back together. And later in the spring, the second container with the other half of the ship will come back and probably then take maybe up to a year after that for it to be completely completed. So, yeah, it’s going to be brilliant once it’s done. But it’s also just brilliant to be able to see the work in progress and to visit it and to see what’s going on there.
GT 1:35:09 Well, I think I’m out of questions, but I think what you’ve done is amazing. I feel like Lehi meets Columbus. Is that what we should call you?
Philip 1:35:22 Yeah, something like that. Yes.
GT 1:35:25 Are you comfortable being associated with the Book of Mormon?
Philip 1:35:28 Yeah, as I said, I think as long as the voyage is used for good purposes, and for positive purposes in people’s lives, yeah, I’m happy with that.
GT 1:35:45 Well, great. Captain Philip Beale, can we call you captain?
Philip 1:35:49 You can. Well, I’m the captain of the Phoenicia and project director.
GT 1:36:00 Or admiral, is that better?
Philip 1:36:03 Yeah, I think Admiral of the Seas is quite a nice title. (Chuckling)
GT 1:36:06 There you go. Well, Admiral Philip Beale, I appreciate you so much for being here on Gospel Tangents.
Philip 1:36:15 You’re very welcome. Thank you for your time.
 The Falkland Islands War between Britain and Argentina lasted from April 2, 1982 – June 14, 1982.
 The book is called “Kon Tiki” and can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3ArF7pF
 This is a Heartlander argument that the X2 marker is of Middle Eastern origin. But as Ugo Perego, Simon Southerton, and Thomas Murphy all agree, the X2 marker found in the Kennewick Man was here 10,000 years ago, long before Lehi arrived. See https://gospeltangents.com/science/dna/
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